The Info List - Louis XVI

Louis XVI (French pronunciation: ​[lwi sɛːz]; 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793), born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the final weeks of his life. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France
and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792. Louis XVI was guillotined on 21 January 1793. The first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform France
in accordance with Enlightenment ideas. These included efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille, and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics. The French nobility
French nobility
reacted to the proposed reforms with hostility, and successfully opposed their implementation. Louis implemented deregulation of the grain market, advocated by his liberal minister Turgot, but it resulted in an increase in bread prices. In periods of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity which would prompt the masses to revolt. From 1776, Louis XVI actively supported the North American colonists, who were seeking their independence from Great Britain, which was realised in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime. This led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789. Discontent among the members of France's middle and lower classes resulted in strengthened opposition to the French aristocracy and to the absolute monarchy, of which Louis and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, were viewed as representatives. Increasing tensions and violence marked by events such as the storming of the Bastille during which riots in Paris
forced Louis to definitively recognize the legislative authority of the National Assembly. Louis's indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France
to view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime, and his popularity deteriorated progressively. His disastrous flight to Varennes in June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, seemed to justify the rumors that the king tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign invasion. The credibility of the king was deeply undermined, and the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic became an ever-increasing possibility. Despite his lack of popular approbation, Louis XVI did abolish the death penalty for deserters,[1][2] as well as the labor tax, which had compelled the French lower classes to spend two weeks out of the year working on buildings and roads.[3] In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the insurrection of 10 August 1792; one month later, the absolute monarchy was abolished; the First French Republic was proclaimed on 21 September 1792. He was tried by the National Convention
National Convention
(self-instituted as a tribunal for the occasion), found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793, as a desacralized French citizen under the name of "Citizen Louis Capet," in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty – which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis's family name. Louis XVI was the only King of France
King of France
ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. Both of his sons died in childhood, before the Bourbon Restoration; his only child to reach adulthood, Marie Therese, was given over to the Austrians in exchange for French prisoners of war, eventually dying childless in 1851.


1 Childhood 2 Family life 3 Absolute monarch of France, 1774–1789 4 Foreign policy

4.1 Concerning the American Revolution
American Revolution
and Europe 4.2 Concerning Asia

5 Revolutionary constitutional reign, 1789–1792

5.1 Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(1791) 5.2 Intervention by foreign powers

6 Imprisonment, execution and burial, 1792–1793 7 Legacy

7.1 In film and literature

8 Ancestors 9 Titles, styles, honours and arms

9.1 Titles and styles

9.1.1 Honours

9.2 Arms

10 References 11 Bibliography

11.1 Historiography 11.2 Primary sources

12 External links

Childhood[edit] Louis-Auguste de France, who was given the title Duc de Berry
Duc de Berry
at birth, was born in the Palace of Versailles. One of seven children, he was the second son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, and thus the grandson of Louis XV
Louis XV
of France
and of his consort, Maria Leszczyńska. His mother was Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, the daughter of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, Prince-Elector
of Saxony
and King of Poland. Louis-Auguste was overlooked by his parents who favored his older brother, Louis, duc de Bourgogne, who was regarded as bright and handsome but who died at the age of nine in 1761. Louis-Auguste, a strong and healthy boy but very shy, excelled in his studies and had a strong taste for Latin, history, geography, and astronomy and became fluent in Italian and English. He enjoyed physical activities such as hunting with his grandfather and rough play with his younger brothers, Louis-Stanislas, comte de Provence, and Charles-Philippe, comte d'Artois. From an early age, Louis-Auguste was encouraged in another of his interests, locksmithing, which was seen as a useful pursuit for a child.[4] Upon the death of his father, who died of tuberculosis on 20 December 1765, the eleven-year-old Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin. His mother never recovered from the loss of her husband and died on 13 March 1767, also from tuberculosis.[5] The strict and conservative education he received from the Duc de La Vauguyon, "gouverneur des Enfants de France" (governor of the Children of France), from 1760 until his marriage in 1770, did not prepare him for the throne that he was to inherit in 1774 after the death of his grandfather, Louis XV. Throughout his education, Louis-Auguste received a mixture of studies particular to religion, morality, and humanities.[6] His instructors may have also had a good hand in shaping Louis-Auguste into the indecisive king that he became. Abbé Berthier, his instructor, taught him that timidity was a value in strong monarchs, and Abbé Soldini, his confessor, instructed him not to let people read his mind.[7] Family life[edit]

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, with her three eldest children, Marie-Thérèse, Louis-Charles and Louis-Joseph, by Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

On 16 May 1770, at the age of fifteen, Louis-Auguste married the fourteen-year-old Habsburg Archduchess Maria Antonia (better known by the French form of her name, Marie Antoinette), his second cousin once removed and the youngest daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
Francis I and his wife, the formidable Empress Maria Theresa.[8] This marriage was met with hostility from the French public. France's alliance with Austria had pulled the country into the disastrous Seven Years' War, in which it was defeated by the British and the Prussians, both in Europe and in North America. By the time that Louis-Auguste and Marie-Antoinette were married, the French people
French people
generally disliked the Austrian alliance, and Marie-Antoinette was seen as an unwelcome foreigner.[9] For the young couple, the marriage was initially amiable but distant. Louis-Auguste's shyness and, among other factors, the young age and inexperience of the newlyweds (who were near total strangers to each other: they had met only two days before their wedding) meant that the 15-year-old bridegroom failed to consummate the union with his 14-year-old bride. His fear of being manipulated by her for imperial purposes caused him to behave coldly towards her in public.[10] Over time, the couple became closer, though while their marriage was reportedly consummated in July 1773, it did not actually happen until 1777.[11]

Louis XVI at the age of 20

Louis-Charles, the dauphin of France
and future Louis XVII, by Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.

The couple's failure to produce any children for several years placed a strain upon their marriage,[12] exacerbated by the publication of obscene pamphlets (libelles) mocking their infertility. One questioned, "Can the King do it? Can't the King do it?"[13] The reasons for the couple's initial failure to have children were debated at that time, and they have continued to be debated since. One suggestion is that Louis-Auguste suffered from a physiological dysfunction,[14] most often thought to be phimosis, a suggestion first made in late 1772 by the royal doctors.[15] Historians adhering to this view suggest that he was circumcised[16] (a common treatment for phimosis) to relieve the condition seven years after their marriage. Louis's doctors were not in favour of the surgery – the operation was delicate and traumatic, and capable of doing "as much harm as good" to an adult male. The argument for phimosis and a resulting operation is mostly seen to originate from Stefan Zweig. Most modern historians agree that Louis had no surgery[17][18][19] – for instance, as late as 1777, the Prussian envoy, Baron Goltz, reported that the King of France
King of France
had definitely declined the operation.[20] Louis was frequently declared to be perfectly capable of sexual intercourse, as confirmed by Joseph II, and during the time he was supposed to have had the operation, he went out hunting almost every day, according to his journal. This would not have been possible if he had undergone a circumcision; at the very least, he would have been unable to ride to the hunt for a few weeks afterwards. The couple's sexual problems are now attributed to other factors. Antonia Fraser's biography of the queen discusses Joseph II's letter on the matter to one of his brothers after he visited Versailles in 1777. In the letter, Joseph describes in astonishingly frank detail Louis' inadequate performance in the marriage bed and Antoinette's lack of interest in conjugal activity. Joseph described the couple as "complete fumblers"; however, with his advice, Louis began to apply himself more effectively to his marital duties, and in the third week of March 1777 Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
became pregnant. Eventually, the royal couple became the parents of four children. According to Madame Campan, Marie Antoinette's lady-in-waiting, the queen also suffered two miscarriages. The first one, in 1779, a few months after the birth of her first child, is mentioned in a letter to her daughter, written in July by empress Maria Theresa. Madame Campan states that Louis spent an entire morning consoling his wife at her bedside, and swore to secrecy everyone who knew of the occurrence. Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
suffered a second miscarriage on the night of 2–3 November 1783. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
were the parents of four live-born children:

(19 December 1778 – 19 October 1851) Louis-Joseph-Xavier-François, the Dauphin (22 October 1781 – 4 June 1789) Louis-Charles, Dauphin after the death of his elder brother, future titular king Louis XVII of France
Louis XVII of France
(27 March 1785 – 8 June 1795) Sophie-Hélène-Béatrix, died in infancy (9 July 1786 – 19 June 1787)

In addition to his biological children, Louis XVI also adopted four children: "Armand" Francois-Michel Gagné (c. 1771-1792), a poor orphan adopted in 1776; Jean Amilcar (c. 1781-1793), a Senegalese slave boy given to the queen as a present by Chevalier de Boufflers
Chevalier de Boufflers
in 1787, but whom she instead had freed, baptized, adopted and placed in a pension; Ernestine Lambriquet
Ernestine Lambriquet
(1778-1813), daughter of two servants at the palace, whom was raised as the playmate of his daughter and whom he adopted after the death of her mother in 1788; and finally "Zoe" Jeanne Louise Victoire (born in 1787), who was adopted in 1790 along with her two older sisters when her parents, an usher and his wife in service of the king, had died.[21] Of these, only Armand, Ernestine and Zoe actually lived with the royal family: Jean Amilcar, along with the elder siblings of Zoe and Armand who were also formally foster children of the royal couple, simply lived on the queen's expense until her imprisonment, which proved fatal for at least Amilcar, as he was evicted from the boarding school when the fee was no longer paid, and reportedly starved to death on the street.[21] Armand and Zoe had a position which was more similar to that of Ernestine; Armand lived at court with the king and queen until he left them at the outbreak of the revolution because of his republican sympathies, and Zoe was chosen to be the playmate of the Dauphin, just as Ernestine had once been selected as the playmate of Marie-Therese, and sent away to her sisters in a convent boarding school before the Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
in 1791.[21] Absolute monarch of France, 1774–1789[edit]

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Louis XVI by Antoine-François Callet, 1786

When Louis XVI acceded to the throne in 1774, he was nineteen years old. He had an enormous responsibility, as the government was deeply in debt, and resentment of "despotic" monarchy was on the rise. He himself felt woefully unqualified to resolve the situation. As king, Louis XVI focused primarily on religious freedom and foreign policy. While none doubted his intellectual ability to rule France, it was quite clear that, although raised as the Dauphin since 1765, he lacked firmness and decisiveness. His desire to be loved by his people is evident in the prefaces of many of his edicts that would often explain the nature and good intention of his actions as benefiting the people, such as reinstating the parlements. When questioned about his decision, he said, "It may be considered politically unwise, but it seems to me to be the general wish and I want to be loved."[22] In spite of his indecisiveness, Louis XVI was determined to be a good king, stating that he "must always consult public opinion; it is never wrong."[23] He, therefore, appointed an experienced advisor, Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas who, until his death in 1781, would take charge of many important ministerial functions. Among the major events of Louis XVI's reign was his signing of the Edict of Versailles, also known as the Edict of Tolerance, on 7 November 1787, which was registered in the parlement on 29 January 1788. Granting non-Roman Catholics – Huguenots and Lutherans, as well as Jews – civil and legal status in France
and the legal right to practice their faiths, this edict effectively nullified the Edict of Fontainebleau that had been law for 102 years. The Edict of Versailles did not legally proclaim freedom of religion in France
– this took two more years, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789 – however, it was an important step in eliminating religious tensions and it officially ended religious persecution within his realm.[24]

"Le Couronnement de Louis XVI", by Benjamin Duvivier, honoring the 11 June 1775 coronation of Louis XVI

Radical financial reforms by Turgot and Malesherbes angered the nobles and were blocked by the parlements who insisted that the King did not have the legal right to levy new taxes. So, in 1776, Turgot was dismissed and Malesherbes resigned, to be replaced by Jacques Necker. Necker supported the American Revolution, and he carried out a policy of taking out large international loans instead of raising taxes. He attempted to gain public favor in 1781 when he had published the first ever statement of the French Crown's expenses and accounts, the Compte-rendu au Roi. This allowed the people of France
to view the king's accounts in modest surplus.[25] When this policy failed miserably, Louis dismissed him, and then replaced him in 1783 with Charles Alexandre de Calonne, who increased public spending to "buy" the country's way out of debt. Again this failed, so Louis convoked the Assembly of Notables
Assembly of Notables
in 1787 to discuss a revolutionary new fiscal reform proposed by Calonne. When the nobles were informed of the extent of the debt, they were shocked into rejecting the plan. After this, Louis XVI tried, along with his new Controller-General des finances, Étienne-Charles de Loménie de Brienne, to force the Parlement
de Paris
to register the new laws and fiscal reforms. Upon the denial of the members of the Parlement, Louis XVI tried to use his absolute power to subjugate them by every means: enforcing in many occasions the registration of his reforms (6 August 1787, 19 November 1787, and 8 May 1788), exiling all Parlement
magistrates to Troyes as a punishment on 15 August 1787, prohibiting six members from attending parliamentary sessions on 19 November, arresting two very important members of the Parlement, who opposed his reforms, on 6 May 1788, and even dissolving and depriving of all power the "Parlement," replacing it with a Plenary Court, on 8 May 1788. All of these measures and shows of royal power failed mainly for three reasons. First: the majority of the population stood in favor of the Parlement
against the king, and thus continuously rebelled against him. Second: the royal treasury was literally running out of money, in which case it would be incapable of sustaining its own imposed reforms. And third: although the king had as much absolute power as his predecessors, he lacked one crucial trait for absolutism to function properly: authority. Having become unpopular to both the commoners and the aristocracy, Louis XVI was, therefore, able to impose his decisions and reforms only for very short periods of time, ranging from 2 to 4 months, before revoking them. As authority drifted from him and reforms were becoming necessary, there were increasingly loud calls for him to convoke the Estates-General, which had not met since 1614, at the beginning of the reign of Louis XIII. As a last-ditch attempt to get new monetary reforms approved, Louis XVI convoked the Estates-General on 8 August 1788, setting the date of their opening on 1 May 1789. With the convocation of the Estates-General, as in many other instances during his reign, Louis XVI placed his reputation and public image in the hands of those who were perhaps not as sensitive to the desires of the French population as he was. Because it had been so long since the Estates-General had been convened, there was some debate as to which procedures should be followed. Ultimately, the Parlement
de Paris agreed that "all traditional observances should be carefully maintained to avoid the impression that the Estates-General could make things up as it went along." Under this decision, the king agreed to retain many of the divisive customs which had been the norm in 1614 and before, but which was intolerable to a Third Estate buoyed by the recent proclamations of equality. For example, the First and Second Estates proceeded into the assembly wearing their finest garments, while the Third Estate was required to wear plain, oppressively somber black, an act of alienation that Louis XVI would likely have not condoned. He seemed to regard the deputies of the Estates-General with at least respect: in a wave of self-important patriotism, members of the Estates refused to remove their hats in the King's presence, so Louis removed his to them.[26] This convocation was one of the events that transformed the general economic and political malaise of the country into the French Revolution. In June 1789, the Third Estate unilaterally declared itself the National Assembly. Louis XVI's attempts to control it resulted in the Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(serment du jeu de paume), on 20 June, the declaration of the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and eventually led to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, which started the French Revolution. (Louis' "diary" entry for 14 July, the single word rien (nothing) has been used to show how out of touch with reality he was, but the document was a hunting log, not a personal journal. When he did not go hunting, he wrote "rien," which did not mean that nothing important had happened that day).[27] Within three short months, the majority of the king's executive authority had been transferred to the elected representatives of the Nation. Foreign policy[edit] Main articles: Franco-American alliance, Franco-Indian alliances, and French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh French involvement in the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
had left Louis XVI a disastrous inheritance. Britain's victories had seen them capture most of France's colonial territories. While some were returned to France at the 1763 Treaty of Paris
a vast swathe of North America was ceded to the British. This had led to a strategy amongst the French leadership of seeking to rebuild the French military in order to fight a war of revenge against Britain, in which it was hoped the lost colonies could be recovered. France
still maintained a strong influence in the West Indies, and in India maintained five trading posts, leaving opportunities for disputes and power-play with Great Britain.[28] Concerning the American Revolution
American Revolution
and Europe[edit] Main article: France
in the American Revolutionary War

Surrender of Cornwallis to French (left) and American (right) troops, at the Siege of Yorktown
Siege of Yorktown
in 1781, by John Trumbull

Louis XVI receives the ambassadors of Tippu Sultan in 1788, Voyer after Emile Wattier, 19th century.

In the spring of 1776, Vergennes, the Foreign Secretary, saw an opportunity to humiliate France's long-standing enemy, Great Britain, and to recover territory lost during the Seven Years' War, by supporting the American Revolution. In the same year Louis was persuaded by Pierre Beaumarchais
Pierre Beaumarchais
to send supplies, ammunition, and guns to the rebels secretly. Early in 1778 he signed a formal Treaty of Alliance, and later that year France
went to war with Britain. In deciding in favor of war, despite France's large financial problems, the King was materially influenced by alarmist reports after the Battle of Saratoga, which suggested that Britain was preparing to make huge concessions to the thirteen colonies and then, allied with them, to strike at French and Spanish possessions in the West Indies.[29] Spain
and the Netherlands soon joined the French in an anti-British coalition. After 1778, Great Britain switched its focus to the West Indies, as defending the sugar islands was considered more important than trying to recover the thirteen colonies. France
and Spain
planned to invade the British Isles themselves with the Armada of 1779, but the operation never went ahead. France's initial military assistance to the American rebels was a disappointment, with defeats at Rhode Island and Savannah. In 1780, France
sent Rochambeau and Grasse to help the Americans, along with large land and naval forces. The French expeditionary force arrived in North America in July 1780. The appearance of French fleets in the Caribbean was followed by the capture of a number of the sugar islands, including Tobago
and Grenada.[30] In October 1781, the French naval blockade was instrumental in forcing a British army under Cornwallis to surrender at the Siege of Yorktown.[31] When news of this reached London in March 1782, the government of Lord North
Lord North
fell and Great Britain immediately sued for peace terms; however, France delayed the end of the war until September 1783 in the hope of overrunning more British colonies in India and the West Indies. Great Britain recognised the independence of the thirteen colonies as the United States of America, and the French war ministry rebuilt its army. However, the British defeated the main French fleet in 1782 and successfully defended Jamaica
and Gibraltar. France
gained little from the 1783 Treaty of Paris
that ended the war, except the colonies of Tobago
and Senegal. Louis XVI was wholly disappointed in his aims of recovering Canada, India, and other islands in the West Indies
West Indies
from Britain, as they were too well defended and the Royal Navy made any attempted invasion of Britain impossible. The war cost 1,066 million livres, financed by new loans at high interest (with no new taxes). Necker concealed the crisis from the public by explaining only that ordinary revenues exceeded ordinary expenses, and not mentioning the loans. After he was forced from office in 1781, new taxes were levied.[32] This intervention in America was not possible without France
adopting a neutral position in European affairs in order not to be drawn into a continental war which would be simply a repetition of the French policy mistakes in the Seven Years' War. Vergennes supported by King Louis refused to go to War to support Austria in the Bavarian Succession crisis in 1778, when Austrian Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph, tried to control parts of Bavaria. Vergennes and Maurepas refused to support the Austrian position, but the intervention of Marie Antoinette in favor of Austria obliged France
to adopt a position more favorable to Austria, which in the treaty of Teschen was able to get in compensation a territory whose population numbered around 100,000 persons. However, this intervention was a disaster for the image of the Queen, who was named "l'Autrichienne" (a pun in French meaning "Austrian", but the "chienne" suffix can mean "bitch") on account of it.[33] Concerning Asia[edit]

Louis XVI giving La Pérouse his instructions, by Nicolas-André Monsiau

Louis XVI hoped to use the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
as an opportunity to expel the British from India.[28] In 1782, he sealed an alliance with the Peshwa
Madhu Rao Narayan. As a consequence, Bussy moved his troops to the Isle de France
(now Mauritius) and later contributed to the French effort in India in 1783.[28][34] Suffren became the ally of Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
in the Second Anglo-Mysore War
Second Anglo-Mysore War
against British rule in India, in 1782–1783, fighting the British fleet along the coasts of India and Ceylon.[35][36] France
also intervened in Cochinchina
following Mgr Pigneau de Béhaine's intervention to obtain military aid. A France-Cochinchina alliance was signed through the Treaty of Versailles of 1787, between Louis XVI and Prince Nguyễn Ánh.[37] Louis XVI also encouraged major voyages of exploration. In 1785, he appointed La Pérouse to lead a sailing expedition around the world. Revolutionary constitutional reign, 1789–1792[edit] There is a lack of scholarship on the subject of Louis XVI's time as a constitutional monarch, though it was a significant length of time. The reason as to why many biographers have not elaborated extensively on this time in the king's life is due to the uncertainty surrounding his actions during this period, as Louis XVI's declaration that was left behind in the Tuileries
stated that he regarded his actions during constitutional reign provisional; he reflected that his "palace was a prison". This time period was exemplary in its demonstration of an institution's deliberation while in their last standing moments.[38] Louis XVI's time in his previous palace came to an end on 5 October 1789, when an angry mob of Parisian working women was incited by revolutionaries and marched on the Palace of Versailles, where the royal family lived. At dawn, they infiltrated the palace and attempted to kill the queen, who was associated with a frivolous lifestyle that symbolized much that was despised about the Ancien Régime. After the situation had been defused by Lafayette, head of the Garde nationale, the king and his family were brought by the crowd to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the reasoning being that the king would be more accountable to the people if he lived among them in Paris.

One Louis d'or, 1788, depicting Louis XVI

The Revolution's principles of popular sovereignty, though central to democratic principles of later eras, marked a decisive break from the centuries-old principle of divine right that was at the heart of the French monarchy. As a result, the Revolution was opposed by many of the rural people of France
and by all the governments of France's neighbors. Still, within the city of Paris
and amongst the philosophers of the time, many of which sat in the National Assembly, the monarchy had next to no support. As the Revolution became more radical and the masses more uncontrollable, several of its leading figures began to doubt its benefits. Some, like Honoré Mirabeau, secretly plotted with the Crown to restore its power in a new constitutional form. Beginning in 1791, Montmorin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, started to organize covert resistance to the revolutionary forces. Thus, the funds of the Liste Civile, voted annually by the National Assembly, were partially assigned to secret expenses in order to preserve the monarchy. Arnault Laporte, who was in charge of the Civil list, collaborated with both Montmorin and Mirabeau. After the sudden death of Mirabeau, Maximilien Radix de Sainte-Foix, a noted financier, took his place. In effect, he headed a secret council of advisers to Louis XVI, which tried to preserve the monarchy; these schemes proved unsuccessful, and were exposed later when the armoire de fer was discovered. Regarding the financial difficulties facing France, the Assembly created the Comité des Finances, and while Louis XVI attempted to declare his concern and interest in remedying the economic situations, inclusively offering to melt crown silver as a dramatic measure, it appeared to the public that the king did not understand that such statements no longer held the same meaning as they did before and that doing such a thing could not restore the economy of a country.[39] Mirabeau's death on 7 April, and Louis XVI's indecision, fatally weakened negotiations between the Crown and moderate politicians. The Third Estate leaders also had no desire in turning back or remaining moderate after their hard efforts to change the politics of the time, and so the plans for a constitutional monarchy did not last long. On one hand, Louis was nowhere near as reactionary as his brothers, the comte de Provence[citation needed] and the comte d'Artois, and he repeatedly sent messages to them requesting a halt to their attempts to launch counter-coups. This was often done through his secretly nominated regent, the Cardinal Loménie de Brienne. On the other hand, Louis was alienated from the new democratic government both by its negative reaction to the traditional role of the monarch and in its treatment of him and his family. He was particularly irked by being kept essentially as a prisoner in the Tuileries, and by the refusal of the new regime to allow him to have confessors and priests of his choice rather than 'constitutional priests' pledged to the state and not the Roman Catholic Church. Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(1791)[edit] Main article: Flight to Varennes

Tinted etching of Louis XVI, 1792. The caption refers to the date of the Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
and concludes, "The same Louis XVI who bravely waits until his fellow citizens return to their hearths to plan a secret war and exact his revenge."

On 21 June 1791, Louis XVI attempted to flee secretly with his family from Paris
to the royalist fortress town of Montmédy
on the northeastern border of France, where he would join the émigrés and be protected by Austria. The voyage was planned by the Swedish nobleman, and often assumed secret lover of Queen Marie-Antoinette, Axel von Fersen.[40][41] While the National Assembly worked painstakingly towards a constitution, Louis and Marie-Antoinette were involved in plans of their own. Louis had appointed Breteuil to act as plenipotentiary, dealing with other foreign heads of state in an attempt to bring about a counter-revolution. Louis himself held reservations against depending on foreign assistance. Like his mother and father, he thought that the Austrians were treacherous and the Prussians were overly ambitious.[42] As tensions in Paris
rose and he was pressured to accept measures from the Assembly against his will, Louis XVI and the queen plotted to secretly escape from France. Beyond escape, they hoped to raise an "armed congress" with the help of the émigrés, as well as assistance from other nations with which they could return and, in essence, recapture France. This degree of planning reveals Louis' political determination, but it was for this determined plot that he was eventually convicted of high treason.[43] He left behind (on his bed) a 16-page written manifesto, Déclaration du roi, adressée à tous les François, à sa sortie de Paris,[44] traditionally known as the Testament politique de Louis XVI ("Political Testament of Louis XVI"), explaining his rejection of the constitutional system as illegitimate; it was printed in the newspapers. However, his indecision, many delays, and misunderstanding of France
were responsible for the failure of the escape. Within 24 hours, the royal family was arrested at Varennes-en-Argonne
shortly after Jean-Baptiste Drouet, who recognised the king from his profile on a 50 livres assignat[45] (paper money), had given the alert. Louis XVI and his family were taken back to Paris
where they arrived on 25 June. Viewed suspiciously as traitors, they were placed under tight house arrest upon their return to the Tuileries.[46] At the microscopic level, the failure of the escape plans was due to a series of misadventures, delays, misinterpretations, and poor judgments.[47] In a wider perspective, the failure was attributable to the king's indecision—he repeatedly postponed the schedule, allowing for smaller problems to become severe. Furthermore, he totally misunderstood the political situation. He thought only a small number of radicals in Paris
were promoting a revolution that the people as a whole rejected. He thought, mistakenly, that he was beloved by the peasants and the common folk.[48] The king's flight in the short term was traumatic for France, inciting a wave of emotions that ranged from anxiety to violence to panic. Everyone realized that war was imminent. The deeper realization, that the king had in fact repudiated the Revolution, was an even greater shock for people who until then had seen him as a good king who governed as a manifestation of God's will. They felt betrayed, and as a result, Republicanism
now burst out of the coffee houses and became a dominating philosophy of the rapidly radicalized French Revolution.[49] Intervention by foreign powers[edit]

The return of the royal family to Paris
on 25 June 1791, coloured copperplate after a drawing of Jean-Louis Prieur

The other monarchies of Europe looked with concern upon the developments in France, and considered whether they should intervene, either in support of Louis or to take advantage of the chaos in France. The key figure was Marie Antoinette's brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II. Initially, he had looked on the Revolution with equanimity. However, he became more and more disturbed as it became more and more radical. Despite this, he still hoped to avoid war. On 27 August, Leopold and Frederick William II of Prussia, in consultation with émigrés French nobles, issued the Declaration of Pillnitz, which declared the interest of the monarchs of Europe in the well-being of Louis and his family, and threatened vague but severe consequences if anything should befall them. Although Leopold saw the Pillnitz Declaration as an easy way to appear concerned about the developments in France
without committing any soldiers or finances to change them, the revolutionary leaders in Paris
viewed it fearfully as a dangerous foreign attempt to undermine France's sovereignty. In addition to the ideological differences between France
and the monarchical powers of Europe, there were continuing disputes over the status of Austrian estates in Alsace, and the concern of members of the National Constituent Assembly about the agitation of émigrés nobles abroad, especially in the Austrian Netherlands
Austrian Netherlands
and the minor states of Germany.

The Storming of the Tuileries
Palace, on 10 August 1792 (Musée de la Révolution française)

In the end, the Legislative Assembly, supported by Louis XVI, declared war on Austria ("the King of Bohemia and Hungary") first, voting for war on 20 April 1792, after a long list of grievances was presented to it by the foreign minister, Charles François Dumouriez. Dumouriez prepared an immediate invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, where he expected the local population to rise against Austrian rule. However, the Revolution had thoroughly disorganised the army, and the forces raised were insufficient for the invasion. The soldiers fled at the first sign of battle and, in one case, on 28 April 1792, murdered their general, Irish-born comte Théobald de Dillon, whom they accused of treason.[50] While the revolutionary government frantically raised fresh troops and reorganised its armies, a Prussian-Austrian army under Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick assembled at Coblenz
on the Rhine. In July, the invasion began, with Brunswick's army easily taking the fortresses of Longwy
and Verdun. The duke then issued on 25 July a proclamation called the Brunswick Manifesto, written by Louis's émigré cousin, the Prince de Condé, declaring the intent of the Austrians and Prussians to restore the king to his full powers and to treat any person or town who opposed them as rebels to be condemned to death by martial law. Contrary to its intended purpose of strengthening Louis XVI's position against the revolutionaries, the Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
had the opposite effect of greatly undermining his already highly tenuous position. It was taken by many to be the final proof of collusion between the king and foreign powers in a conspiracy against his own country. The anger of the populace boiled over on 10 August when an armed mob – with the backing of a new municipal government of Paris
that came to be known as the Insurrectional Paris
Commune – marched upon and invaded the Tuileries
Palace. The royal family took shelter with the Legislative Assembly. Imprisonment, execution and burial, 1792–1793[edit] See also: Trial of Louis XVI
Trial of Louis XVI
and Execution of Louis XVI

Louis XVI imprisoned at the Tour du Temple, by Jean-François Garneray (1755–1837)

Louis was officially arrested on 13 August 1792 and sent to the Temple, an ancient fortress in Paris
that was used as a prison. On 21 September, the National Assembly declared France
to be a Republic and abolished the monarchy. Louis was stripped of all of his titles and honours, and from this date was known as Citoyen Louis Capet. The Girondins
were partial to keeping the deposed king under arrest, both as a hostage and a guarantee for the future. Members of the Commune and the most radical deputies, who would soon form the group known as the Mountain, argued for Louis's immediate execution. The legal background of many of the deputies made it difficult for a great number of them to accept an execution without the due process of law, and it was voted that the deposed monarch be tried before the National Convention, the organ that housed the representatives of the sovereign people. In many ways, the former king's trial represented the trial of the monarchy by the revolution. It was seen as if with the death of one came the life of the other. Michelet argued that the death of the former king would lead to the acceptance of violence as a tool for happiness. He said, "If we accept the proposition that one person can be sacrificed for the happiness of the many, it will soon be demonstrated that two or three or more could also be sacrificed for the happiness of the many. Little by little, we will find reasons for sacrificing the many for the happiness of the many, and we will think it was a bargain."[51] There were two events that led up to the trial for Louis XVI. First, after the Battle of Valmy
Battle of Valmy
on 22 September 1792, General Dumouriez negotiated with the Prussians who evacuated France. Louis could no longer be considered a hostage or as leverage in negotiations with the invading forces.[52] Second, in November 1792, the armoire de fer (iron chest) incident took place at the Tuileries
Palace, when the existence, in the king's bedroom, of the hidden safe containing compromising documents and correspondence, was revealed by François Gamain, the Versailles locksmith who had installed it. Gamain went to Paris
on 20 November and told Jean-Marie Roland, Girondinist Minister of the Interior, who ordered it opened.[53] The resulting scandal served to discredit the king. Following these two events the Girondins could no longer keep the king from trial.[52] On 11 December, among crowded and silent streets, the deposed king was brought from the Temple to stand before the Convention and hear his indictment, an accusation of high treason and crimes against the State. On 26 December, his counsel, Raymond Desèze, delivered Louis' response to the charges, with the assistance of François Tronchet
François Tronchet
and Malesherbes. Before the trial started and Louis mounted his defense to the Convention, he told his lawyers that he knew he would be found guilty and be killed, but to prepare and act as though they could win. He was resigned to and accepted his fate before the verdict was determined, but he was willing to fight to be remembered as a good king for his people.[54] The Convention would be voting on three questions: first, Is Louis guilty; second, whatever the decision, should there be an appeal to the people; and third, if found guilty, what punishment should Louis suffer? The order of the voting on each question was a compromise within the Jacobin movement between the Girondins
and Mountain; neither were satisfied but both accepted.[55]

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
in the Place de la Révolution. The empty pedestal in front of him had supported an equestrian statue of his grandfather, Louis XV. When the monarchy was abolished on 11 August 1792, the statue was torn down and sent to be melted.

On 15 January 1793, the Convention, composed of 721 deputies, voted on the verdict. Given overwhelming evidence of Louis's collusion with the invaders, the verdict was a foregone conclusion – with 693 deputies voting guilty, none for acquittal, with 23 abstaining.[56] The next day, a roll-call vote was carried out to decide upon the fate of the former king, and the result was uncomfortably close for such a dramatic decision. 288 of the deputies voted against death and for some other alternative, mainly some means of imprisonment or exile. 72 of the deputies voted for the death penalty, but subject to a number of delaying conditions and reservations. The voting took a total of 36 hours.[55] 361 of the deputies voted for Louis's immediate execution. Louis was condemned to death by a majority of one vote. Philippe Égalité, formerly the duke of Orléans and Louis' cousin, voted for Louis' execution, a cause of much future bitterness among French monarchists; he would himself be guillotined on the same scaffold, Place de la Révolution, before the end of the same year, on 6 November 1793.[57] The next day, a motion to grant Louis XVI reprieve from the death sentence was voted down: 310 of the deputies requested mercy, but 380 voted for the immediate execution of the death penalty. This decision would be final. Malesherbes wanted to break the news to Louis and bitterly lamented the verdict, but Louis told him he would see him again in a happier life and he would regret leaving a friend like Malesherbes behind. The last thing Louis said to him was that he needed to control his tears because all eyes would be upon him.[58]

Paul Wranitzky: "Funeral March for the Death of the King Louis XVI" from the Symphony Op. 31 "The Revolution" or "La Paix", Mov. 2 Pt. 2.

Porticodoro / SmartCGArt Media Productions – Classical Orchestra.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

On Monday, 21 January 1793, Louis XVI was beheaded by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution. As Louis XVI mounted the scaffold, he appeared dignified and resigned. He delivered a short speech in which he pardoned "...those who are the cause of my death.... ".[59] He then declared himself innocent of the crimes of which he was accused, praying that his blood would not fall back on France.[60] Many accounts suggest Louis XVI's desire to say more, but Antoine-Joseph Santerre, a general in the National Guard, halted the speech by ordering a drum roll. The former king was then quickly beheaded.[61] Some accounts of Louis's beheading indicate that the blade did not sever his neck entirely the first time. There are also accounts of a blood-curdling scream issuing from Louis after the blade fell but this is unlikely, since the blade severed Louis's spine. The executioner, Charles Henri Sanson, testified that the former king had bravely met his fate.[62] Immediately after his execution, Louis XVI's corpse was transported in a cart to the nearby Madeleine cemetery, located rue d'Anjou, where those guillotined at the Place de la Révolution
Place de la Révolution
were buried in mass graves. Before his burial, a short religious service was held in the Madeleine church (destroyed in 1799) by two priests who had sworn allegiance to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Afterwards, Louis XVI, his severed head placed between his feet, was buried in an unmarked grave, with quicklime spread over his body.[citation needed] The Madeleine cemetery
Madeleine cemetery
was closed in 1794. In 1815 Louis XVIII
had the remains of his brother Louis XVI and of his sister-in-law Marie-Antoinette transferred and buried in the Basilica of St Denis, the Royal necropolis of the Kings and Queens of France. Between 1816 and 1826, a commemorative monument, the Chapelle expiatoire, was erected at the location of the former cemetery and church.[citation needed] While Louis's blood dripped to the ground, several onlookers ran forward to dip their handkerchiefs in it.[63] This account was proven true in 2012, after a DNA comparison linked blood thought to be from Louis XVI's beheading to DNA taken from tissue samples originating from what was long thought to be the mummified head of Henry IV of France. The blood sample was taken from a squash gourd carved to commemorate the heroes of the French Revolution
French Revolution
that had, according to legend, been used to house one of the handkerchiefs dipped in Louis's blood.[64] Legacy[edit]

Memorial to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, sculptures by Edme Gaulle and Pierre Petitot
Pierre Petitot
in the Basilica of Saint-Denis

The 19th-century historian Jules Michelet
Jules Michelet
attributed the restoration of the French monarchy to the sympathy that had been engendered by the execution of Louis XVI. Michelet's Histoire de la Révolution Française and Alphonse de Lamartine's Histoire des Girondins, in particular, showed the marks of the feelings aroused by the revolution's regicide. The two writers did not share the same sociopolitical vision, but they agreed that, even though the monarchy was rightly ended in 1792, the lives of the royal family should have been spared. Lack of compassion at that moment contributed to a radicalization of revolutionary violence and to greater divisiveness among Frenchmen. For the 20th century novelist Albert Camus
Albert Camus
the execution signaled the end of the role of God in history, for which he mourned. For the 20th century philosopher Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard
the regicide was the starting point of all French thought, the memory of which acts as a reminder that French modernity began under the sign of a crime.[65] Louis' daughter, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte, the future Duchess of Angoulême, survived the French Revolution, and she lobbied in Rome energetically for the canonization of her father as a saint of the Catholic Church. Despite his signing of the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy", Louis had been described as a martyr by Pope Pius VI in 1793.[66] In 1820, however, a memorandum of the Congregation of Rites in Rome, declaring the impossibility of proving that Louis had been executed for religious rather than political reasons, put an end to hopes of canonization.

The Requiem in C minor for mixed chorus by Luigi Cherubini
Luigi Cherubini
was written in 1816, in memory of Louis XVI. The city of Louisville, Kentucky, is named for Louis XVI. In 1780, the Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
bestowed this name in honor of the French king, whose soldiers were aiding the American side in the Revolutionary War. The Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
saw the King as a noble man, but many other Continental delegates disagreed. (At that time, Kentucky
was a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Kentucky became the 15th State of the United States in 1792.) There are numerous other places named "Louisville", such as Louisville, Alabama, Louisville, Colorado, Louisville, Georgia, Louisville, Illinois, Louisville, Kansas, Louisville, Nebraska, Louisville, New York, Louisville, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, and Louisville, Tennessee, all located in the United States.

In film and literature[edit] King Louis XVI has been portrayed in numerous films. In Marie Antoinette (1938), he was played by Robert Morley. Jean-François Balmer portrayed him in the 1989 two-part miniseries La Révolution française. More recently, he was depicted in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette by Jason Schwartzman. In Sacha Guitry's Si Versailles m'était conté, Louis was portrayed by one of the film's producers, Gilbert Bokanowski, using the alias Gilbert Boka. Several portrayals have upheld the image of a bumbling, almost foolish king, such as that by Jacques Morel in the 1956 French film Marie-Antoinette reine de France
and that by Terence Budd in the Lady Oscar live action film. In Start the Revolution Without Me, Louis XVI is portrayed by Hugh Griffith as a laughable cuckold. Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
played a comic version of Louis XVI in The History of the World Part 1, portraying him as a libertine who has such distaste for the peasantry he uses them as targets in skeet shooting. In the 1996 film Ridicule; Urbain Cancelier plays Louis. Louis XVI has been the subject of novels as well, including two of the alternate histories anthologized in If It Had Happened Otherwise (1931): "If Drouet's Cart Had Stuck" by Hilaire Belloc
Hilaire Belloc
and "If Louis XVI Had Had an Atom of Firmness" by André Maurois, which tell very different stories but both imagine Louis surviving and still reigning in the early 19th century. Louis appears in the children's book Ben and Me by Robert Lawson but does not appear in the 1953 animated short film based on the same book. Ancestors[edit]

Ancestors of Louis XVI of France

16. Louis, Dauphin of France

8. Louis, Duke of Burgundy

17. Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria

4. Louis XV
Louis XV
of France

18. Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia

9. Marie Adélaïde of Savoy

19. Anne Marie of Orléans

2. Louis, Dauphin of France

20. Rafał Leszczyński

10. Stanisław I Leszczyński

21. Anna Jabłonowska

5. Marie Leszczyńska

22. Jan Karol Opaliński

11. Katarzyna Opalińska

23. Zofia Czarnkowska

1. Louis XVI of France

24. John George III, Elector of Saxony

12. Augustus II of Poland

25. Anne Sophie of Denmark

6. Augustus III of Poland

26. Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth

13. Christiane Eberhardine of Bayreuth

27. Sophie Luise of Württemberg

3. Maria Josepha of Saxony

28. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

14. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor

29. Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg

7. Maria Josepha of Austria

30. John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

15. Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick

31. Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Royal styles of King Louis XVI Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France
et de Navarre

Reference style His Most Christian Majesty

Spoken style Your Most Christian Majesty

Alternative style Monsieur Le Roi

Titles and styles[edit]

23 August 1754 – 20 December 1765: His Royal Highness The Duke of Berry 20 December 1765 – 10 May 1774: His Royal Highness The Dauphin of France 10 May 1774 – 21 September 1792: His Most Christian Majesty The King 21 September 1792 – 21 January 1793: Citizen Louis Capet

Louis's formal style before the revolution was "Louis XVI, par la grâce de Dieu, roi de France
et de Navarre", or "Louis XVI, by the Grace of God, King of France
King of France
and of Navarre". Honours[edit]

Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit. Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.


Coat of arms
Coat of arms
of Louis XVI of France

This box:

view talk edit

Notes Upon his accession to the throne Louis assumed the royal coat of arms of France
& Navarre.[67] Adopted 1774–1793 Crest The Royal crown of France Helm An opened gold helmet, with blue and gold mantling. Escutcheon Azure, three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) impaling Gules on a chain in cross saltire and orle Or an emerald Proper (for Navarre). Supporters The two supporters are two angels, acting as heralds for the two realms. The dexter angel carries a standard with the arms of France, and wearing a tabard with the same arms. The sinister angel also carries a standard and wears a tabard, but that of Navarre. Both are standing on puffs of cloud. Motto The motto is written in gold on a blue ribbon: MONTJOIE SAINT DENIS the war cry of France, Saint Denis was also the abbey where the oriflamme was kept. Orders The escutcheons are surrounded first by the chain of the Order of Saint Michael and by the chain of the Order of the Holy Spirit, both were known as the ordres du roi. Other elements Above all is a pavilion armoyé with the Royal crown. From it, is a royal blue mantle with a semis of fleurs-de-lis Or, lined on the inside with ermine. Banner Royal standard of the king


^ Berkovich, Ilya. Motivation in War. p. 85. Retrieved 11 December 2017.  ^ Delon, Michel. Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. p. 1246. Retrieved 11 December 2017.  ^ "Louis XVI of France, King and Martyr".  ^ Andress, David, The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2005, pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0374530730 ^ Lever, Évelyne, Louis XVI, Librairie Arthème Fayard, Paris, 1985 ^ Hardman, John, Louis XVI, The Silent King, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 10. ^ Hardman, John, Louis XVI, The Silent King, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 18. ^ John Hardman (1994). Louis XVI: The Silent King and the Estates. Yale University Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-300-06077-5.  ^ Andress, David. The Terror, p. 12 ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, pp.100–102 ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, p.127 ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, pp.166–167 ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, p.164 ^ Francine du Plessix Gray (7 August 2000). "The New Yorker From the Archive Books". The Child Queen. Retrieved 17 October 2006.  ^ Fraser, Antonia, Marie Antoinette, p.122 ^ Androutsos, George. "The Truth About Louis XVI's Marital Difficulties". Translated from French.  ^ Fraser, Antonia (2001). Marie Antoinette: The Journey.  ^ Lever, Evelyne (2001). Marie Antoinette: Last Queen of France.  ^ Cronin, Vincent (1974). Louis and Antoinette.  ^ "Dictionary of World Biography". Author: Barry Jones. Published in 1994. ^ a b c Philippe Huisman, Marguerite Jallut: Marie Antoinette, Stephens, 1971 ^ Hardman, John. Louis XVI, The Silent King. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. pp. 37–39. ^ Andress, David,(2005) The Terror, p.13 ^ Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Ideals, Edict of Versailles (1787) Archived 14 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine., downloaded 29 January 2012 ^ Doyle, William (2001). The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 26–27.  ^ Baecque, Antoine de, From Royal Dignity to Republican Austerity: The Ritual for the Reception of Louis XVI in the French National Assembly (1789–1792), The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 66, No. 4 (December 1994), p. 675. ^ Johnson, Alison (2013). Louis XVI and the French Revolution. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786473557.  ^ a b c " Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan
and the Scots in India". The Tiger and The Thistle. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2011.  ^ Corwin, Edward Samuel, French Policy and the American Alliance (1916) pp. 121–148 ^ The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (1994) p. 130. ^ Jonathan R. Dull, The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1774–1787 (1975). ^ On finance, see William Doyle, Oxford History of the French Revolution (1989) pp. 67–74. ^ Joel Felix & Louis Sixteen and Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
2006, pp. 220–225 ^ The influence of sea power upon history, 1660–1783, by Alfred Thayer Mahan, p. 461: [1] ^ "The History Project – University of California, Davis". Historyproject.ucdavis.edu. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011.  ^ Black, Jeremy. Britain as a military power, 1688–1815. Retrieved 17 July 2011.  ^ TRAITÉ conclu à Versailles entre la France
et la Cochinchine, représentée par Mgr Pigneau de Béhaine, évêque d'Adran, le 28 novembre 1787 (in French) ^ A., Caiani, Ambrogio (2012-01-01). Louis XVI and the French Revolution, 1789-1792. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107631014. OCLC 802746106.  ^ A., Caiani, Ambrogio (2012-01-01). Louis XVI and the French Revolution, 1789-1792. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107631014. OCLC 802746106.  ^ Swedish historian Herman Lindqvist in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, found at [2][permanent dead link] In Swedish, not far from the top "Ändå är det historiskt dokumenterat att Marie-Antoinette + Axel von Fersen = sant." which in English becommes "Still is it historically documented that Marie-Antoinetter + Axel von Fersen = true." ^ Barrington 1902, p. 44 ^ Hardman, John, Louis XVI, The Silent King, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 127 ^ Price, Munro, Louis XVI and Gustavus III: Secret Diplomacy and Counter-Revolution, 1791–1792, The Historical Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2 (June 1999), p. 441. ^ "Déclaration du roi [Louis XVI] adressée à tous les Français, à sa sortie de ..."  ^ " Assignat
de 50 livres".  ^ Guttner, Darius von (2015). The French Revolution. Nelson Cengage. pp. 132–133.  ^ J. M. Thompson, The French Revolution
French Revolution
(1943) identifies a series of major and minor mistakes and mishaps, pp. 224–227 ^ Timothy Tackett, When the King Took Flight (2003) ch. 3 ^ Timothy Tackett, When the King Took Flight (2003), p. 222 ^ Liste chronologique des généraux français ou étrangers au service de France, morts sur le champ de bataille... de 1792 à 1837, A. Leneveu, rue des Grands-Augustins, n° 18, Paris, 1838, p. 7. ^ Dunn, Susan, The Deaths of Louis XVI: Regicide and the French Political Imagination, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994, pp. 72–76. ^ a b Hardman, John (2000). Louis XVI: The Silent King. Oxford University Press Inc. pp. 157–158.  ^ G. Lenotre, Vieilles maisons, vieux papiers, Librairie académique Perrin, Paris, 1903, pp. 321–338 (in French) ^ Fay, Bernard (1968). Louis XVI or The End of a World. Henry Regnery Company. p. 392.  ^ a b Jordan, David (1979). The King's Trial: The French Revolution vs. Louis XVI. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 166.  ^ von Guttner, Darius (2015). The French Revolution. Nelson Cengage. p. 225.  ^ von Guttner, Darius. The French Revolution, 2015. ^ Hardman, John (2000). Louis XVI: The Silent King. Oxford University Press Inc. p. 230.  ^ Hardman, John (1992). Louis XVI. Yale University Press. p. 232.  ^ Louis XVI's last words heard before the drums covered his voice: Je meurs innocent de tous les crimes qu'on m'impute ; je pardonne aux auteurs de ma mort ; je prie Dieu que le sang que vous allez répandre ne retombe pas sur la France. ^ Hardman 1992, p. 232. ^ Alberge, Dalya.What the King said to the executioner..., The Times, 8 April 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2008. ^ Andress, David, The Terror, 2005, p. 147. ^ "Blood of Louis XVI 'found in gourd container'". BBC News. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.  ^ See Susan Dunn, The Deaths of Louis XVI: Regicide and the French Political Imagination. (1994). ^ "Pius VI: Quare Lacrymae". 29 January 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.  ^ (http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/frarms.htm)


Baecque, Antoine De. "From Royal Dignity to Republican Austerity: the Ritual for the Reception of Louis XVI in the French National Assembly (1789–1792)." Journal of Modern History 1994 66(4): 671–696. JSTOR.org Burley, Peter. "A Bankrupt Regime." History Today (January 1984) 34:36–42.ISSN 0018-2753 Fulltext in EBSCO Doyle, William. Origins of the French Revolution
French Revolution
(3rd ed. 1999) online edition Doyle, William. "The Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
and the End of the French Monarchy." History Review. (2000) pp 21+ Questia.com, online edition Doyle, William (2002). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925298-5.  Pages 194–196 deal with the trial of Louis XVI. Doyle, William, ed. Old Regime France
(2001). Dunn, Susan. The Deaths of Louis XVI: Regicide and the French Political Imagination. (1994). 178 pp. Hardman, John. Louis XVI: The Silent King (1994) 224 pages, the standard scholarly biography Hardman, John. French Politics, 1774–1789: From the Accession of Louis XVI to the Fall of the Bastille. (1995). 283 pp. Jones, Colin. The Great Nation: France
from Louis XV
Louis XV
to Napoleon (2002) Amazon.com, excerpt and text search Mignet, François Auguste (1824). "History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814". Project Gutenberg.  See Chapter VI, The National Convention, for more details on the king's trial and execution. Padover, Saul K. The Life and Death of Louis XVI (1939) Questia.com, online edition Price, Munro. The Road from Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Fall of the French Monarchy (2004) 425 pp. Amazon.com, excerpt and text search; also published as The Fall of the French Monarchy: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
and the Baron de Breteuil. (2002) Schama, Simon. Citizens. A Chronicle of the French Revolution
French Revolution
(1989), highly readable narrative by scholar Amazon.com, excerpt and text search Tackett, Timothy. When the King Took Flight. (2003). 270 pp. Amazon.com, excerpt and text search


McGill, Frank N. "Execution of Louis XVI" in McGill's History of Europe (1993) 3:161-4 Moncure, James A. ed. Research Guide to European Historical Biography: 1450–Present (4 vol 1992) 3:1193–1213 Rigney, Ann. "Toward Varennes." New Literary History 1986 18(1): 77–98 in JSTOR, on historiography

Primary sources[edit]

Campan, Jeanne-Louise-Henriette. Memoirs of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
and Wife of Louis XVI: Queen of France
(1910) Books.Google.com, complete edition online

Full text of writings of Louis XVI in Ball State University's Digital Media Repository.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Louis XVI of France.

has original works written by or about: Louis XVI of France

Louis XVI at Encyclopædia Britannica Louis XVI of France
at Find a Grave Full text of writings of Louis XVI in Ball State University's Digital Media Repository Works by or about Louis XVI of France
in libraries ( WorldCat

Louis XVI of France House of Bourbon Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty Born: 23 August 1754 Died: 21 January 1793

Regnal titles

Preceded by Louis XV King of France 10 May 1774 – 21 September 1792 King of the French
King of the French
from 1791 Vacant National Convention Title next held by Napoleon
I as emperor

French royalty

Preceded by Louis Dauphin of France 20 December 1765 – 10 May 1774 Succeeded by Louis-Joseph

v t e

Dauphins of France

House of Bourbon

Louis XIII Louis XIV Louis, Le Grand Dauphin Louis, Le Petit Dauphin Louis Louis XV Louis Louis Auguste Louis Joseph Louis Charles Louis Antoine

v t e

Princes of France

The first generation are the children of Henri IV; these males held the rank of Son of France
or Grand son of France;

1st generation

Louis XIII Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans* Gaston, Duke of Orléans*

2nd generation

Louis XIV Philippe, Duke of Orléans Jean Gaston, Duke of Valois*

3rd generation

Louis, Dauphin of France Philippe Charles, Duke of Anjou* Louis François, Duke of Anjou* Philippe Charles, Duke of Valois* Alexandre Louis, Duke of Valois* Philippe, Duke of Orléans

4th generation

Louis, Duke of Burgundy King Felipe of Spain Charles, Duke of Berry*

5th generation

Louis, Duke of Brittany* Louis, Duke of Brittany* Louis XV

6th generation

Louis, Dauphin of France Philippe, Duke of Anjou*

7th generation

Louis, Duke of Burgundy* Xavier, Duke of Aquitaine* Louis XVI* Louis XVIII* Charles X

8th generation

Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France* Louis XVII* Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
(Louis XIX)* Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry

9th generation

Henri, Count of Chambord
Henri, Count of Chambord
(Henry V)*

* died without surviving issue

v t e

Heads of state of France

Styled President of the Republic after 1871, except from 1940 to 1944 (Chief of State) and 1944 to 1947 (Chairman of the Provisional Government). Detailed monarch family tree Simplified monarch family tree

Merovingians (486–751)

Clovis I Childebert I Chlothar I Charibert I Guntram Chilperic I Sigebert I Childebert II Chlothar II Dagobert I Sigebert II Clovis II Chlothar III Childeric II Theuderic III Clovis IV Childebert III Dagobert III Chilperic II Chlothar IV Theuderic IV Childeric III

Carolingians, Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)

Pepin the Short Carloman I Charlemagne
(Charles I) Louis I Charles II Louis II Louis III Carloman II Charles the Fat OdoR Charles III Robert IR RudolphB Louis IV Lothair Louis V

House of Capet
House of Capet

Hugh Capet Robert II Henry I Philip I Louis VI Louis VII Philip II Louis VIII Louis IX Philip III Philip IV Louis X John I Philip V Charles IV

House of Valois
House of Valois

Philip VI John II Charles V Charles VI Charles VII Louis XI Charles VIII Louis XII Francis I Henry II Francis II Charles IX Henry III

House of Lancaster
House of Lancaster

Henry VI of England

House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon

Henry IV Louis XIII Louis XIV Louis XV Louis XVI Louis XVII

First Republic (1792–1804)

National Convention Directory Consulate

First Empire (1804–1815)

I Napoleon

Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration

Louis XVIII Charles X Louis XIX Henry V

July Monarchy
July Monarchy

Louis Philippe I

Second Republic (1848–1852)

Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure Executive Commission Louis-Eugène Cavaignac Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte

Second Empire (1852–1870)


Government of National Defense (1870–1871)

Louis-Jules Trochu

Third Republic (1871–1940)

Adolphe Thiers Patrice de Mac-Mahon Jules Armand Dufaure* Jules Grévy Maurice Rouvier* Sadi Carnot Charles Dupuy* Jean Casimir-Perier Charles Dupuy* Félix Faure Charles Dupuy* Émile Loubet Armand Fallières Raymond Poincaré Paul Deschanel Alexandre Millerand Frédéric François-Marsal* Gaston Doumergue Paul Doumer André Tardieu* Albert Lebrun

Vichy France
Vichy France

Philippe Pétain

Provisional Government (1944–1947)

Charles de Gaulle Félix Gouin Georges Bidault Vincent Auriol Léon Blum

Fourth Republic (1947–1958)

Vincent Auriol René Coty

Fifth Republic (1958–present)

Charles de Gaulle Alain Poher* Georges Pompidou Alain Poher* Valéry Giscard d'Estaing François Mitterrand Jacques Chirac Nicolas Sarkozy François Hollande Emmanuel Macron

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk*. Millerand held the presidency in an acting capacity before being fully elected.

v t e

House of Bourbon

Henry IV of France


Margaret of Valois Marie de' Medici


Louis XIII Elisabeth, Queen of Spain Christine Marie, Duchess of Savoy Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans Gaston, Duke of Orléans Henriette Marie, Queen of England, Ireland and Scotland


Henri, Duke of Beaumont (1551–1553) Louis, Count of Marle (1555–1557) Madeleine (1556) Catherine, Duchess of Lorraine

Illegitimate children

César, Duke of Vendôme Catherine Henriette, Duchess of Elbeuf Alexandre, Chevalier de Vendôme Henri, Duke of Verneuil Gabrielle Angelique, Duchess of La Valette and Epernon Antoine, Count of Moret Jeanne Baptiste, Abess of Fontevraud Marie Henriette, Abess of Chelles


Anne Marie Louise, Duchess of Montpensier Marguerite Louise, Grand Duchess of Tuscany Élisabeth Marguerite, Duchess of Alençon and Angoulême Françoise Madeleine, Duchess of Savoy Princess Marie Anne Jean Gaston, Duke of Valois Louis XIV of France Philippe, Duke of Orléans

Louis XIII of France


Infanta Ana Maria Mauricia of Spain 3


Louis XIV of France Philippe, Duke of Orléans


Louis, Dauphin of France Princess Anne Élisabeth Princess Marie Anne Princess Marie Therèse, Madame Royale Philippe Charles, Duke of Anjou Louis François, Duke of Anjou Marie Louise, Queen of Spain Philippe Charles, Duke of Valois Anne Marie, Queen of Sardinia Alexandre Louis, Duke of Valois Philippe Charles, Duke of Orléans Élisabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Lorraine

Great grandchildren

Louis, Duke of Burgundy King Felipe of Spain Charles, Duke of Berry Louis, Duke of Orléans

Louis XIV of France


Infanta María Teresa of Spain 3 Françoise d'Aubigné, Marchioness of Maintenon


Louis, Dauphin of France Princess Anne Élisabeth Princess Marie Anne Princess Marie Therèse, Madame Royale Philippe Charles, Duke of Anjou Louis François, Duke of Anjou

Illegitimate children

Marie Anne, Princess of Conti Louis, Count of Vermandois Louis Auguste, Duke of Maine Louis César, Count of Vexin Louise Françoise, Duchess of Bourbon Louise Marie Anne, Mademoiselle de Tours Françoise Marie, Duchess of Orléans Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse Louise, Baroness of La Queue


Louis, Duke of Burgundy King Felipe V of Spain p Charles, Duke of Berry Louis Auguste, Prince of Dombes Louis Charles, Count of Eu Louise Françoise, Mademoiselle du Maine Louis Jean Marie, Duke of Penthièvre

Great grandchildren

Louis, Duke of Brittany Louis, Duke of Brittany Louis XV
Louis XV
of France Louis I of Spain 1 Felipe of Spain 1 Felipe of Spain 1 Ferdinand VI of Spain 1 Charles III of Spain 1 Francisco of Spain 1 Mariana Víctoria, Queen of Portugal 1 Philip, Duke of Parma 1 Maria Teresa Rafaela, Dauphine of France 1 Luis, Count of Chinchón 1 Maria Antonietta, Queen of Sardinia 1 Charles, Duke of Alençon Marie Louise Élisabeth d'Alençon Louis Alexandre, Prince of Lamballe

Louis XV
Louis XV
of France


Maria Carolina Sophia Felicity Leszczyńska


Louise Élisabeth, Duchess of Parma Princess Henriette Princess Louise (1728–1733) Louis, Dauphin of France Philippe, Duke of Anjou Marie Adélaïde, Duchess of Louvois Princess Victoire Sophie, Duchess of Louvois Princess Thérèse Princess Louise (1737–1787)


Princess Marie Therèse, Madame Royale Princess Marie Zéphyrine Louis, Duke of Burgundy Xavier, Duke of Aquitaine Louis XVI of France Louis XVIII
of France Charles X of France Clothilde, Queen of Sardinia Princess Élisabeth

Illegitimate children included

Charles de Vintimille Agathe Louise de Saint-Antoine Philippe, Duke of Narbonne-Lara Louis, comte de Narbonne-Lara

Louis XVI of France


Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria 2


Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France Louis XVII of France Princess Sophie Hélène

Louis XVII of France


Louis had no children; he died aged 10 in 1795. His uncle, the future Louis XVIII
of France, proclaimed himself regent but both titles were disputed.

See Bourbon Restoration.

of France


Princess Marie Joséphine of Savoy

Charles X of France


Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy


Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême Sophie, Mademoiselle Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry Marie Thérèse, Mademoiselle d'Angoulême


Princess Louise Élisabeth Prince Louis Louise Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Parma Henri, Count of Chambord

Notes 1 also an Infante
or Infanta of Spain 2 also an Archduchess of Austria 3 both p Philip was the first Bourbon king of Spain, the country's present ruling house.

v t e

French Revolution

Causes Timeline Ancien Régime Revolution Constitutional monarchy Republic Directory Consulate Glossary

Significant civil and political events by year


Day of the Tiles
Day of the Tiles
(7 Jun 1788) Assembly of Vizille
Assembly of Vizille
(21 Jul 1788)


What Is the Third Estate?
What Is the Third Estate?
(Jan 1789) Réveillon riots (28 Apr 1789) Convocation of the Estates-General (5 May 1789) National Assembly (17 Jun – 9 Jul 1790) Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(20 Jun 1789) National Constituent Assembly (9 Jul – 30 Sep 1791) Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
(14 Jul 1789) Great Fear (20 Jul – 5 Aug 1789) Abolition of Feudalism (4-11 Aug 1789) Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
(27 Aug 1789) Women's March on Versailles
Women's March on Versailles
(5 Oct 1789)


Abolition of the Parlements (Feb–Jul 1790) Abolition of the Nobility (19 Jun 1790) Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Civil Constitution of the Clergy
(12 Jul 1790)


Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(20–21 Jun 1791) Champ de Mars Massacre
Champ de Mars Massacre
(17 Jul 1791) Declaration of Pillnitz (27 Aug 1791) The Constitution of 1791 (3 Sep 1791) Legislative Assembly (1 Oct 1791 – Sep 1792)


declares war (20 Apr 1792) Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
(25 Jul 1792) Paris
Commune becomes insurrectionary (Jun 1792) 10th of August (10 Aug 1792) September Massacres
September Massacres
(Sep 1792) National Convention
National Convention
(20 Sep 1792 – 26 Oct 1795) First republic declared (22 Sep 1792)


Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
(21 Jan 1793) Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
(9 Mar 1793 – 31 May 1795) Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
(27 Jun 1793 – 27 Jul 1794)

Committee of Public Safety Committee of General Security

Fall of the Girondists (2 Jun 1793) Assassination of Marat (13 Jul 1793) Levée en masse
Levée en masse
(23 Aug 1793) The Death of Marat
The Death of Marat
(painting) Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
(17 Sep 1793) Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is guillotined (16 Oct 1793) Anti-clerical laws (throughout the year)


Danton and Desmoulins guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin Club (11 Nov 1794)


Constitution of the Year III
Constitution of the Year III
(22 Aug 1795) Conspiracy of the Equals
Conspiracy of the Equals
(Nov 1795) Directoire (1795–99)

Council of Five Hundred Council of Ancients

13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
5 Oct 1795


Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
(4 Sep 1797) Second Congress of Rastatt
Second Congress of Rastatt
(Dec 1797)


Coup of 30 Prairial VII (18 Jun 1799) Coup of 18 Brumaire
Coup of 18 Brumaire
(9 Nov 1799) Constitution of the Year VIII
Constitution of the Year VIII
(24 Dec 1799) Consulate

Revolutionary campaigns


Verdun Thionville Valmy Royalist Revolts

Chouannerie Vendée Dauphiné

Lille Siege of Mainz Jemappes Namur (fr)


First Coalition Siege of Toulon
Siege of Toulon
(18 Sep – 18 Dec 1793) War in the Vendée Battle of Neerwinden) Battle of Famars
Battle of Famars
(23 May 1793) Expédition de Sardaigne
Expédition de Sardaigne
(21 Dec 1792 - 25 May 1793) Battle of Kaiserslautern Siege of Mainz Battle of Wattignies Battle of Hondschoote Siege of Bellegarde Battle of Peyrestortes
Battle of Peyrestortes
(Pyrenees) First Battle of Wissembourg (13 Oct 1793) Battle of Truillas
Battle of Truillas
(Pyrenees) Second Battle of Wissembourg (26–27 Dec 1793)


Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
(24 Apr 1794) Battle of Boulou
Battle of Boulou
(Pyrenees) (30 Apr – 1 May 1794) Battle of Tournay
Battle of Tournay
(22 May 1794) Battle of Fleurus (26 Jun 1794) Chouannerie Battle of Tourcoing
Battle of Tourcoing
(18 May 1794) Battle of Aldenhoven (2 Oct 1794)


Peace of Basel


Battle of Lonato
Battle of Lonato
(3–4 Aug 1796) Battle of Castiglione
Battle of Castiglione
(5 Aug 1796) Battle of Theiningen Battle of Neresheim
Battle of Neresheim
(11 Aug 1796) Battle of Amberg
Battle of Amberg
(24 Aug 1796) Battle of Würzburg
Battle of Würzburg
(3 Sep 1796) Battle of Rovereto
Battle of Rovereto
(4 Sep 1796) First Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(8 Sep 1796) Battle of Emmendingen
Battle of Emmendingen
(19 Oct 1796) Battle of Schliengen
Battle of Schliengen
(26 Oct 1796) Second Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(6 Nov 1796) Battle of Calliano (6–7 Nov 1796) Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
(15–17 Nov 1796) The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)


Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797) Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
(14–15 Jan 1797) Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797) Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben
(17 Apr 1797) Battle of Neuwied (18 Apr 1797) Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
(17 Oct 1797)


French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland
(28 January – 17 May 1798) French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) Irish Rebellion of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798) Quasi-War
(1798–1800) Peasants' War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)


Second Coalition (1798–1802) Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799) Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach
(20–21 Mar 1799) Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799) Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano
(5 Apr 1799) Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799) First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich
(4–7 Jun 1799) Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799) Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799) Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich
(25–26 Sep 1799)


Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo
(14 Jun 1800) Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden
(3 Dec 1800) League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)


Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville
(9 Feb 1801) Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
(18 Mar 1801) Algeciras Campaign
Algeciras Campaign
(8 Jul 1801)


Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(25 Mar 1802)

Military leaders

French Army

Eustache Charles d'Aoust Pierre Augereau Alexandre de Beauharnais Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte Louis-Alexandre Berthier Jean-Baptiste Bessières Guillaume-Marie-Anne Brune Jean François Carteaux Jean Étienne Championnet Chapuis de Tourville Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine Louis-Nicolas Davout Louis Desaix Jacques François Dugommier Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Charles François Dumouriez Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino Louis-Charles de Flers Paul Grenier Emmanuel de Grouchy Jacques Maurice Hatry Lazare Hoche Jean-Baptiste Jourdan François Christophe de Kellermann Jean-Baptiste Kléber Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Jean Lannes Charles Leclerc Claude Lecourbe François Joseph Lefebvre Jacques MacDonald Jean-Antoine Marbot Jean Baptiste de Marbot François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey Jean Victor Marie Moreau Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise Joachim Murat Michel Ney Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr) Nicolas Oudinot Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon Jean-Charles Pichegru Józef Poniatowski Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier Joseph Souham Jean-de-Dieu Soult Louis-Gabriel Suchet Belgrand de Vaubois Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno

French Navy

Charles-Alexandre Linois



József Alvinczi Archduke
Charles, Duke of Teschen Count of Clerfayt (Walloon) Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
(Swiss) Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth Pál Kray (Hungarian) Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
(French) Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon) Karl Mack von Leiberich Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon) Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
(Hungarian) Karl Philipp Sebottendorf Dagobert von Wurmser


Sir Ralph Abercromby Admiral Sir James Saumarez Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Dutch Republic

William V, Prince of Orange


Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen


Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov


Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos

Other significant figures and factions

Society of 1789

Jean Sylvain Bailly Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Isaac René Guy le Chapelier Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Nicolas de Condorcet

Feuillants and monarchiens

Madame de Lamballe Madame du Barry Louis de Breteuil Loménie de Brienne Charles Alexandre de Calonne de Chateaubriand Jean Chouan Grace Elliott Arnaud de La Porte Jean-Sifrein Maury Jacques Necker François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas Antoine Barnave Lafayette Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth Charles Malo François Lameth André Chénier Jean-François Rewbell Camille Jordan Madame de Staël Boissy d'Anglas Jean-Charles Pichegru Pierre Paul Royer-Collard


Jacques Pierre Brissot Roland de La Platière Madame Roland Father Henri Grégoire Étienne Clavière Marquis de Condorcet Charlotte Corday Marie Jean Hérault Jean Baptiste Treilhard Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Jean Debry Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil Olympe de Gouges Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux

The Plain

Abbé Sieyès de Cambacérès Charles François Lebrun Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Philippe Égalité Louis Philippe I Mirabeau Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin
de Thionville Jean Joseph Mounier Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours François de Neufchâteau


Maximilien Robespierre Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat Camille Desmoulins Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras Louis Philippe I Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Jacques-Louis David Marquis de Sade Jacques-Louis David Georges Couthon Roger Ducos Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois Jean-Henri Voulland Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier Jean-Pierre-André Amar Prieur de la Côte-d'Or Prieur de la Marne Gilbert Romme Jean Bon Saint-André Jean-Lambert Tallien Pierre Louis Prieur Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Antoine Christophe Saliceti

Hébertists and Enragés

Jacques Hébert Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Charles-Philippe Ronsin Antoine-François Momoro François-Nicolas Vincent François Chabot Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gobel François Hanriot Jacques Roux Stanislas-Marie Maillard Charles-Philippe Ronsin Jean-François Varlet Theophile Leclerc Claire Lacombe Pauline Léon Gracchus Babeuf Sylvain Maréchal


Charles X Louis XVI Louis XVII Louis XVIII Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien Louis Henri, Prince of Condé Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé Marie Antoinette Napoléon Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte Joseph Bonaparte Joseph Fesch Joséphine de Beauharnais Joachim Murat Jean Sylvain Bailly Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Talleyrand Thérésa Tallien Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Catherine Théot List of people associated with the French Revolution

Influential thinkers

Les Lumières Beaumarchais Edmund Burke Anacharsis Cloots Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Pierre Claude François Daunou Diderot Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Antoine Lavoisier Montesquieu Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Abbé Sieyès Voltaire Mary Wollstonecraft

Cultural impact

La Marseillaise French Tricolour Liberté, égalité, fraternité Marianne Bastille Day Panthéon French Republican Calendar Cult of the Supreme Being Cult of Reason

Temple of Reason

Sans-culottes Metric system Phrygian cap Women in the French Revolution Symbolism in the French Revolution Historiography of the French Revolution Influence of the French Revolution

v t e

Pretenders to the French throne since 1792

Monarchy in exile (1792–1815)

1792 Louis XVI 1793 Louis XVII 1795 Louis XVIII
1814 1815

Legitimist pretenders (1830–present)

1830 Charles X 1836 Louis Antoine 1844 Henri 1883 Jean 1887 Charles 1909 Jacques 1931 Alphonse Charles 1936 Alphonse 1941 Jacques 1975 Alphonse 1989 Louis Alphonse present

pretenders (1848–present)

1848 Louis Philippe I 1850 Philippe 1894 Philippe 1926 Jean 1940 Henri 1999 Henri present

Unionist succession (1830–present)

1830 Charles X 1836 Louis Antoine 1844 Henri 1883 Philippe 1894 Philippe 1926 Jean 1940 Henri 1999 Henri present

Bonapartist Prince Imperial (1814–present)

1814 1815 Napoléon I 1821 Napoléon II 1832 Joseph 1844 Louis 1846 Napoléon III (Emperor 1852–1870) 1873 Napoléon 1879 Victor 1926 Louis 1997 Charles / Jean-Christophe present (disputed)

Bonapartist Prince Canino (1832–1924)

1832 Lucien 1840 Charles 1857 Joseph 1865 Lucien 1895 Napoléon Charles 1899 Roland 1924

v t e

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